In a graduating class of seven students, Scranton’s top students cited competition as helping their performance – both in the classroom and on the athletic field.
One, Jeran Anderson, said his success wouldn’t have been possible if not for the teachers who had guided him through school. He went on to thank his teachers, his administrators at Scranton High School and his coaches for pushing him as a student and an athlete.
The other co-valedictorian, Samantha Oase, also cited competition, both in class with Anderson and on the field of athletics.
The school’s athletic director, Kelly Pierce, introduced her. “I would like to recognize another academic leader in her class and in our school. Her peers, teachers and members of the community hold her in high regard. I have been extremely fortunate to have taught and coached this individuals over the years,” he said.
“She has matured beyond her years and will no doubt find success at whatever she puts her mind to. She is a member of the National Honor Society… a natural leader and has served as class president for this group of graduates every year,” he said.
She also has helped bring the Night Hawks basketball team to a Region 7 Championship...not once, not twice, but three consecutive years, Pierce said as he highlighted Oase’s athletic accomplishments. “She was a three-time all-state selection in basketball.
“Her excellence on the court was culminated in winning the highest honor a basketball player can earn in the state of North Dakota when she was named Miss Basketball,” he said, adding that Oase will be going to Black Hills State University to compete for the Yellowjackets in basketball.”
For Oase, there were a lot of memories at Scranton. “Our years together in such a small class brought us closer together,” she said.
“We could always count on the boys to argue about anything … just for the sake of arguing,” she recalled. “We have had many heated debates to show how independent we all are. We aren’t afraid to voice our opinions, even if they make be different from one another. Like Jeran was saying, the competitiveness between him and I would lead to a bunch of fights. Whenever I would fight with Jeran he would say don’t worry Sam, I am just preparing you for the real world,” she told the crowd, looking over at Anderson.
“Thankfully, our competitiveness made us both push each other,” she added.
To the students who would follow the Class of 2021 through Scranton, Oase told them to live every day like it would be their last and to become involved in as much as they could.
When it came to scholarships, the students had earned thousands of dollars. Oase led the way with a total of $32,645. Casitee Miller had earned $24,795 in scholarships, while Anderson had $12,400 in scholarships. Zoie Johns had $1,00 in scholarships.
When it came to handing out the diplomas, Anderson was the first, followed by Justin Kline, Johns, Miller, Oase, Quentin Schumacher and Brooke Swann.
The school also took time to honor three teachers who were retiring, the school board president who would soon be stepping down and the graduating class of 50 years ago – from 1971.